I’m embracing being a hybrid. I know there’s been some whinging and whining about the plagues of puberty so I must insert (an active male pursuit!) this secondary assessment: this shit is fucking fascinating! I’m my own Petri dish!
I have periods (ugh that word) of deeply surrendering to the experience, the momentum, of hormonal chaos theory. I wish to be as present for this once-in-a-lifetime ballroom mosh-pit as it is possible for this little human to be. It remains a challenge. I have spent decades perfecting the dodge, the emotional mute-and-neuter, an inelegant shell game of “now you feel it/now you don’t!” I make a daily commitment to be available for this thing, this transition.
Sometimes that looks like me thinking “you know, I really don’t want to do this! This just seems too freakin’ HARD. I like being a woman just fine!” My inclination is to suppress this incipient revolution, nip that shit in the bud, as it were. But, in the parlance of the New Age, I have decided to honor these feelings, to pay attention, to give them voice, and meaning, without criticism, without upwardly rolling eyes, or repression. Being as I spend a good half of my interior monologue eye-rolling, this is not as easy as it seems.
I was stroking my upper lip hairs in my circular magnifying mirror (you can’t really see them otherwise, and did I mention I’m kind of a chronic skin poker? It’s calming to me.) when my manlitudiness got elboned to the rear by my perpetually stricken inner-child. “Is this what you really want?” she asked. “Do you really, really, REALLY, want facial hair? Or is it what you think comes with it that you want?”
Well that’s a good question, Inner Child. What comes with having facial hair? Razor burn, ingrown hairs, sexy man-ness, something more soothing to stroke, a soup-strainer, an attitude – POWER. And BOOM, there it is. I want the power. You betcha. I want me some motherfucking male privilege. What is that going to be like? Will I actually get any? Dear me: I feel it’s like some prize in the bottom of the Cracker Jack box. (foreshadowing: my favorite Cracker Jack prize? The tattoos o’course!) In my women’s studies class we read this remarkable piece about white privilege, white versus black, and some of the differences were so nuanced: “I can eat with my mouth open and not be seen as an example of my entire race.” What’s going to happen when I read as a full-on penis smuggler? What kind of noblesse oblige will I don; will I become amnesiac to my previously disempowered
Speaking of penis, fully half the people I tell I’m transitioning go straight to surgery. That’s the first thing they ask me: when am I getting The Thing? We are clearly not watching enough Discovery Channel, people. Or even Jerry Springer, for that matter. I have no interest in sporting some man-made pantswurst. I’m sure, like many a transman afore me, I shall long and pine hard (!) for some manifestation of my phantom limb, but for now and perhaps for always I feel very very okay not having downstairs surgery. It’s also interesting how willing people are to ask me that, without any foreplay. They go right for the cock, every time. Is bottom surgery a transgender cliché? Or can they not imagine a man sans dick? I reckon I was raised on the surgery train myself – Christine Jorgensen, Renee Richards and wotnot. I reckon the people don’t know, and me and my furrying thighs are simply going to have to school ‘em.
I used to fantasize about having a dick for a day. What would I do with a dick if I had one? What wouldn’t I do! But now, my fantasy is that people see me, for a day, the way I really am. That I, too, could look in the mirror, and see the man Sam. I get glimmers, shimmers of masculinity like a mirage of a gas station on Route 66. And then, whoosh, I drive past it. Again, the thing right here right now is to enjoy the ride. I’ll never, ever, do this again. Pay attention, Little Trans. To watch this evolution, this mutation, this infinite unfolding into only God knows what, is nothing short of miraculous. To participate, Divine.